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Department of Music Studies




Tel.:0030 2107277930

Room: 919

Floor: 9th

Contact: TUESDAY 12:00-13:00, WEDNESDAY 12:00-13:00




Ioannis Papathanasiou Was born in Athens in 1967. He studied in Italy at the Università degli Studi di Pavia - Scuola di Paleografia e Filologia Μusicale. He obtained his degree in musicology con lode and post-graduate degree in Palaeography and Musical Philology under Professor Giancarlo Prato. In 1994 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen - Institute of Greek and Latin  under the supervision of Professor Dr. Phil Jørgen Raasted, in the field of Byzantine Musical Palaeography with his dissertation on «Il quarto modo authentico nella tradizione medievale irmologica, (Ph.D. University of Copenhagen), Vol. 1, 2a, 2b, Copenaghen 1994». While writing the latter dissertation he was recipient of a scholarship granted by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.


Academic Career

Ioannis Papathanasiou worked in the capacity of special scholar in the Faculty of Music Studies at the University of Athens. Ιn the same Faculty, was elected Lecturer (1997), Assistant Professor (2002) and Associate Professor (2014) in the field of the “Palaeography of Music”.


Research interests

His research interests are focused on the study of musical notation, particularly Byzantine and Western neumatic notation up to the 14th century.



The development of music notation from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Byzantine and Western neumatic notation up to the 14th century. The primitive notation of the first polyphonic compositions. The black square notation: Ars antiqua and Ars Nova. The white mensural notation of the Renaissance. The notation system of instrumental music in the Renaissance. Music and typography. Transcriptions from Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Music examples.  

The history of music tradition from the first Christian centuries to our day. The first forms of christian chant, psalms and hymns. Local repertories: Old Roman chant, Ambrosian chant, Gallican chant, Beneventan chant, Mozarabic chant, Byzantine chant ecc.. The formation of the Gregorian chant and its relationship with the local music traditions. The music theory of cantus planus. The liturgical year, the liturgical books and the chant these contain. The theoreticians of the Middle Ages, and the information we draw from the theoretical treatises of the period, concerning the performance of Gregorian chant. Birth and development of the neumatic notation, families of neumes, examination of the main music manuscripts. Transcriptions from medieval manuscripts. Music examples.  

The Hellenic book script: The capital script from the fourth to the ninth centuries. The transition from the capital to the minuscule script. The minuscule script from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. Analytical study of the hand-written book (manuscript). General historical survey of the Latin script. Reading hellenic and latin manuscripts (exercises).  

Birth and development of the notation in Byzantium. Ekphonetic notation, local notations, palaeobyzantine notations, middlebyzantine (round) notation. Transcriptions from byzantine manuscripts with middlebyzantine notation. Music examples.   Seminar: Critical edition of Gregorian melodies  Seminar: The manuscript tradition of the music of Southern Italy.



  • Ι. Papathanasiou, Il Quarto modo autentico nella tradizione medievale irmologica,  (Ph. D. University of Copenhagen), Tομοι 1, 2a, 2b, Copenhagen 1994.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασιου, Εγχειρίδιο Μουσικής Παλαιογραφίας, Πρώτη ενότητα, Δυτικές Νευματικές Σημειογραφίες, Εκδόδεις Διογένης, Αθήνα 2002.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασίου, Παλαιογραφία της Μουσικής και Ελληνική παλαιογραφία. Τα παραπεμπτικά σημεία στα χειρόγραφα με γραφή “τύπου Αναστασίου” και “άσσο πίκα”. Κατάλογος Παραπεμπτικών σημείων, Αθήνα 2013.


Representative Publications

  • I. Papathanasiou, Some remarks on a possible Syro-Melchite origin of the MS Sinai gr.1258, in Cahiers de l’Institut du Moyen-Âge Grec et Latin, 64 (1994), pp. 33-57.
  • I. Papathanasiou, The dating of the Sticherarion MS EBE 883, in Cahiers de l’Institut du Moyen- Âge Grec et Latin, 66 (1996), pp. 35-48.
  • I. Papathanasiou, An “Abridged” Analysis of Heirmologion and Sticherarion Melodies of the Fourth Authentic Mode, στην ιστοσελίδα των Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae (Copenhagen 1996):
  • I. Papathanasiou, The musical notation of the sticherarion MS. Vat. Barb. gr. 483 in Byzantine Chant. Tradition and Reform, ed. Chr. Troelsgård (Acts of a Meeting held at the Danish Institute at Athens, 1993), vol. 2, Athens 1997, pp. 53-67.
  • I. Papathanasiou, The use of the Bareia in the old layer Melodies of the Fourth authentic Mode in MS Saba 83, στο Palaeobyzantine Notations. A Reconsideration of the Source Material (ed. βy Chr. Troelsgård  in collaboration with Gerda Wolfram), Hernen 1999, pp. 129-143.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασίου, Γρηγοριανό Μέλος, λήμμα στην Eκπαιδευτική Ελ­ληνική ΕγκυκλοπαίδειαΘέατρο, Κινηματογράφος, Μουσική, Χορός, τόμος 28, Εκδο­τική Αθηνών, Αθήνα 1999.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασιου - Ν. Μπουκας, Ο ύμνος «Επί σοι χαίρει Κεχαριτωμένη» στη βυζαντινή μουσική παράδοση, in Μουσικολογία,  15 (2002), pp. 138-152.
  • Ι. Papathanasiou - N. Bouκas, Byzantine Notation up to 10th centuries. Oral and Written Transmision of Musical Creation, (XXe Congrès Ιnternational des Études Byzantines, Paris 19-25 août 2001), in Cahiers de l’Institut du Moyen-Âge Grec et Latin, 73 (2003), pp. 3-12., {αναδημοσίευση Ι. Παπαθανασιου - Ν. Μπουκας, Η Βυζαντινή μουσική σημειογραφία και η χρήση της έως το 10ο αιώνα. Προφορική και γραπτή παράδοση του πρώιμου βυζαντινού μέλους, in Μουσικολογία,  17 (2003), σσ.184-197.}
  • Ι. Παπαθανασιου, Λειτουργικά περγαμηνά σπαράγματα από το ιδιωτικό αρχείο του Δημητρίου Χρ. Καπαδόχου, πρακτικά του Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου «Οι δύο όψεις της Ελληνικής μουσικής κληρονομιάς. Αφιέρωμα εις μνήμην Σπυρίδωνος Περιστέρη», Αθήνα 10-11 Νοεμβρίου, (Δημοσιεύματα του Κέντρου Ερεύνης της Ελληνικής Λαογραφίας της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών, αρ. 18), Αθήνα 2003, σσ. 81-102.
  • I. Papathanasiou - N. Bouκas, Early Diastematic Notation in Greek Christian Hymnographic Texts of Coptic Origin. A Reconsideration of the Source Material, in Palaeobyzantine Notations III (Acts of a Congress held at the Hernen Castle in March 2001, ed. by Gerda Wolfram, (Eastern Christian Studies, 4), Leuven 2004, pp. 1-25.
  •  Ι. Papathanasiou, The Significance of Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae for the Study of the Heirmological TraditionMonumenta Musicae Byzantinae 75th AnniversaryThe current State of Byzantine Musical Studies after 75 Years of Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae, (Acts of the International Conference held at Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen 16-17 june, 2006), in Bollettino della Badia Greca di Grottaferratta, terza serie, 3 (2006), pp.129-136.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασιου, Ομαδοποίηση των βυζαντινών ειρμολογικών πηγών, 10ος - 14ος αιώνας, στο Πρακτικά του στ΄ Διεθνούς Συμποσίου Ελληνικής Παλαιογραφίας (Δράμα, 21-27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2003), επιμ. Β. Άτσαλος - Ν. Τσίρωνη, Τόμος Β΄, Βιβλιοαμφιαστής - Παράρτημα 1, Ελληνικής Εταιρεία Βιβλιοδεσίας, Αθήνα 2008, σσ. 527-558.
  • Ι. Papathanasiou, The marginal variants of the menaia of Carbone. Some Remarks (Acts of a Congress held at the Hernen Castle in April 2005, ed. by Gerda Wolfram, Leuven - Paris - Dudley, Ma 2008, pp. 1-11.
  • Ι. Παπαθανασίου - Γ. Ρουσόπουλος - Ν. Μπούκας, Ειδική βάση δεδομένων μουσικών βυζαντινών χειρογράφων, (Πρακτικά συμποσίου ‘Όψεις μουσικής ιστοριογραφίας’ εις μνήμην Ίωνος Ζώτου, Αθήνα 15 και 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2011), στο Μουσικολογία, 22 (2013).
  • Γ. Αμαργιανακης† - Ι. Παπαθανασιου, Το αλφαβητικό σύστημα του Αγάπιου Παλιέρμου, στο Μουσικολογία 23, υπό έκδοση.